George Russell asks for F1 ban as Brit smashes up Mercedes in post-season test

George Russell crashed the Mercedes W14 F1 car in the Abu Dhabi post-season test on Tuesday, having driven it to the podium in the final Grand Prix of the year two days earlier

George Russell wants to change the Formula 1 rules to outlaw staff from being on duty at all 24 races per season.

F1 plans to make that many stops on its global tour next season and every campaign after that for the foreseeable future. But even with just 22 races this season the paddock has been left exhausted by the travel.

To cap off the year in style, Russell placed third in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. And he accomplished this in spite of an illness that he had in the later part of the season, which the workload made worse.

First off, I had a high fever in Vegas and was unable to sleep, which made me feel terrible,” the Mercedes racer remarked. “I had a terrible cough that persisted throughout the weekend while I was in the car.”

Every lap I was coughing, but you can’t breathe when you’re strapped into a car. You are unable to exhale deeply to clear your cough. That was just with me all the time. It was quite a miserable day. I was therefore happy to bring it home when I noticed the checkered flag.”

During the season, drivers won’t be allowed to take time off for race weekends whenever they want. Russell, however, believes that it should be required that employees not be permitted to travel on every trip throughout the year due to the obligation that Formula One and the teams have to the safety of their employees.

He continued, referring to himself and the other drivers, “We have it best from every single person in this paddock, the way we travel.” We’re in a very lucky situation. However, all of the people in the paddock… I have a lot of sick mechanics, and people in the engineering office are having a lot of trouble with the constant time zone changes, the body’s inability to recognize one’s location, eating at different times, lodging in various hotels, and adjusting to various environments and climates. The body is becoming disoriented.

“I believe there are discussions regarding staff regulations prohibiting them from participating in every race for the upcoming year. That seems like a good idea to me. I don’t believe that 4,000 people competing in 24 races a season is sustainable.”

Russell’s post-season testing in Abu Dhabi came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when he crashed the W14 at turn six. Following the collision, the car’s front-right corner sustained damage, which the team attributed to a component failure.

Before the collision, Russell had completed 58 laps in the Pirelli tire test. The team chose to wrap up their work for the day early even though they still had several hours of track time left.

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